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TV Ratings

Most-watched soccer games on US TV for June 25-July 3, 2018

FOX Sports and Telemundo Deportes averaged a combined 4.9 million viewers for the final round of the Group Stage, up 24% from the first round of matches and up 7.5% from the second round. Viewership for the third games in the Group Stage peaked for Mexico’s match against Sweden with FOX and Telemundo combining for 6.565 million viewers, a 40% decrease from Mexico’s victory over Korea.

World Cup viewership saw a massive 71.5% increase for the Round of 16 when compared to the Group Stage. Round of 16 matches averaged nearly 7.5 million viewers compared to 4.3 million average viewers for the entire Group Stage.

Portugal and Ronaldo’s exit from the tournament on June 30 proved to be the most-watched match of the round with 9.689 million viewers, beating Mexico’s match against Brazil by over 500,000 viewers.

FOX’s FIFA World Cup lead-ins to Major League Soccer broadcasts continue to pay off as Saturday’s Cascadia Cup clash following Uruguay’s victory over Portugal drew a season-high 1.159 million viewers. The following day, Toronto FC’s match against the New York Red Bulls drew 1.1 million viewers making it three consecutive MLS broadcasts to break the one million viewer mark.

Here are the most-watched soccer games on US TV for June 25-July 3, 2018:

16/30/18World CupUruguay / PortugalFOX; 5879000Telemundo; 38100009,689,000
27/2/18World CupBrazil / MexicoFS1; 4181000Telemundo; 49600009,141,000
37/1/18World CupCroatia / DenmarkFOX; 5912000Telemundo; 31100009,022,000
47/1/18World CupSpain / RussiaFOX; 5118000Telemundo; 35300008,648,000
56/30/18World CupFrance / ArgentinaFOX; 4693000Telemundo; 35100008,203,000
67/3/18World CupEngland / ColombiaFOX; 4375000Telemundo; 27400007,115,000
76/27/18World CupMexico / SwedenFOX; 2165000Telemundo; 44000006,565,000
87/2/18World CupBelgium / JapanFOX; 3499000Telemundo; 16100005,109,000
96/26/18World CupNigeria / ArgentinaFOX; 2613000Telemundo; 23900005,003,000
106/27/18World CupSerbia / BrazilFOX; 2320000Telemundo; 21200004,440,000
116/25/18World CupIran / PortugalFOX; 2200000Telemundo; 16700003,870,000
126/28/18World CupSenegal / ColombiaFOX; 1900000Telemundo; 18900003,790,000
136/28/18World CupEngland / BelgiumFOX; 2400000Telemundo; 13600003,760,000
146/25/18World CupUruguay / RussiaFOX; 1600000Telemundo; 16700003,270,000
157/3/18World CupSweden / SwitzerlandFS1; 1691000Telemundo; 12800002,971,000
166/26/18World CupAustralia / PeruFS1; 376000Telemundo; 15000001,876,000
176/26/18World CupDenmark / FranceFOX; 1700000Unvso; 810001,781,000
186/27/18World CupKorea / GermanyFS1; 1020000Unvso; 1510001,171,000
196/30/18MLSSeattle Sounders / Portland TimbersFOX; 1159000FOXD; —1,159,000
207/1/18MLSToronto FC / New York Red BullsFOX; 1109000FOXD; —1,109,000
216/25/18World CupSpain / MoroccoFS1; 879000Unvso; 1530001,032,000
226/27/18World CupSwitzerland / Costa RicaFS1; 571000Unvso; 109000680,000
236/26/18World CupIceland / CroatiaFS1; 562000Unvso; 41000603,000
246/28/18World CupJapan / PolandFS1; 422000Unvso; 29000451,000
256/28/18World CupPanama / TunisiaFS1; 314000Unvso; 89000403,000
266/25/18World CupSaudi Arabia / EgyptFS1; 301000Unvso; 38000339,000
276/30/18MLSAtlanta United / Orlando City SCESPN; 285000ESPND; —285,000
286/30/18MLSSan Jose Earthquakes / LA GalaxyUniMás/UDN; 276000—; —276,000

SEE MORE: Access our archives of US TV ratings for soccer.

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  1. John

    July 10, 2018 at 7:36 am

    If you include the CCL games, MLS is averaging a little more than 388,000 viewers for the season.

    • Christopher Harris

      July 10, 2018 at 8:50 am

      Most of the viewers tuning in for the CCL games were fans of the Liga MX clubs, so don’t try to pull that trick.

      • John

        July 10, 2018 at 9:38 am

        Without the CCL MLS is averaging 337,000 per game. Still good…

        • Edwin

          July 10, 2018 at 9:42 am

          John yeah I wouldn’t include CCL MLS is doing well enough ratings wise to just stick with MLS games was at 276k pre World Cup and average is at 330k since the WC finish at 300k is a real possibility.

          • John

            July 10, 2018 at 9:58 am

            Every naysayer is gonna say, well the ratings were because of Liga MX or World Cup or NFL or etc. etc. I mean after awhile it’s get’s rather annoying. But for me I think the numbers are a good sign no matter what the pull or attraction is. The numbers are closer and closer to what the NHL is pulling in and the 18-49 demographic which is the gold standard for these networks continue to trend upward for MLS. The next logical step for FOX would be to take a leap and give the MLS primetime viewership either Friday, Saturday or Monday night. I think a Monday night game of the week for MLS on FOX for July and August would do well.

  2. Edwin

    July 8, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Btw solid ratings for the World Cup US not making it my prove to be a financial blessing in disguise because I think I heard FOX told investors to expect at least a 40% less on the ROI because the US didn’t make it and it looks like they may end up close to average not bad.

    MLS is also positioning the league well for a future large TV deal with at least FOX as FOX is finding out in a case study how many casual soccer fans that are willing to give MLS a chance and not turn the channel when a MLS game comes on. They now have a viewing pattern on their main BIG FOX channel of multiple games around 1.1 million. You won’t every year have the biggest Soccer Tournament in the world to lure all the die hard and casual fans but at least FOX now knows what that number looks like. They has a small sample size of 2 games the last two years pairing MLS with prime programming, based off the NFL/MLS simulcast games but now its more definite proof.

    It will be interesting to see what FOX does the remainder(3yrs) of the contract before negotiations. Do they continue to subtly shift the 1-2 extra games each year on BIG FOX like they’ve been doing or do they go the NBC Premier League route go all in hard with MLS and decide to double and triple the number of MLS games on BIG FOX the following seasons? What do you guys at WST think?

    • John

      July 10, 2018 at 7:39 am

      One thing FOX hasn’t tried is a primetime game on a Friday or Saturday night. But I would love to see FOX try a Monday night game of the week during the summer when the only sport to compete against is baseball. I think it would be a ratings success.

      • Edwin

        July 10, 2018 at 9:45 am

        They could do that right now FOX is showing BIG3 basketball on Friday night primetime and averaging 900k in primetime so it’s not like they are killing it in Primetime.

        • John

          July 10, 2018 at 9:59 am

          and the numbers for those shows are pulling in about 1,000,000 viewers so yeah I think your right.

  3. Edwin

    July 7, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Good stuff Collin we are also missing these games numbers I know you replied to me a couple weeks ago and said you re ask for the Galaxy and San Jose Cali Clasico Friday Night Double header on Unimas below are the MLS games you haven’t posted ratings on I will wire you $20 bucks if you can get these numbers. We track these numbers for historical tracking purposes we appreciate what you do. MLS games missing below.

    1.. Toronto FC vs Seattle ?? FS1 Wed 5/9/18/ 730pm**
    2. CHI vs Houston UniMas ??? Sun 5/20/18 400 pm **
    3. LAG vs San Jose UDN(107K)UniMas??? Fri 5/25/18 1055pm**
    (No Unimas Number Reported for last double header game)
    4. NYRB vs FC Dallas UniMas?? Sat 6/23/18 600 pm**

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